Not the right time for me to return to Barca as coach – Xavi

Not the right time for me to return to Barca as coach - Xavi

Former FC Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez has ruled out coaching the club in the near period.

He cited institutional problems as a reason and added he would remain in his role with Qatar’s Al Sadd.

Xavi rejected the offer to coach his former club back in January when they sacked Ernesto Valverde.

He alluded to some of the problems president Josep Bartomeu faced.

These include a scandal involving the hiring of a social media monitoring firm and the fallout from a pay-cut the club introduced in April.

“There’s a lot of external noise around the club, a lot of issues off the pitch and I don’t think now is the right time,” Xavi told the magazine Icon.

“In January I told them it wasn’t the right time, and they haven’t contacted me since.

“I’m delighted to continue to gain experience and challenge myself and of course it’ll be a privilege for me to one day coach Barca.”

Xavi urged Barca to hand a new contract to Lionel Messi, whose current deal expires next year, amid reports the Argentine is disillusioned with Bartomeu’s leadership.

“He has earned it. He should have an automatic clause,” Xavi said of the club’s all-time top scorer.

“Messi needs Barca and Barca need Messi.

“They have to make him happy, because a happy Messi will win more trophies.

“He has done what Pele, Cruyff, Maradona and Ronaldo all did, but over a period of 15 years and in the modern era.

“He is at an incredible level physically, tactically and technically and continues to be the best player in every game,’’ he said.

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